Speakership? not interested, says Arroyo
Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday put to rest talk that she was likely going to replace Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez III when Congress resumes sessions on May 2.
“Not interested” was Arroyo’s curt reply to reporters who asked if the rumor was true.
She also denied that she and Alvarez’s erstwhile friend, Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo, had been discussing the speakership.
Alvarez has filed a graft complaint against Floirendo, who in turn, was defended by his partner who disclosed that the feud between the two men stemmed from her spat with the Speaker’s own girlfriend.
Floirendo is the husband of former Miss Universe Margie Moran-Floirendo.
Alvarez and Antonio Floirendo are both close allies of President Duterte, with the latter bankrolling the former Davao City mayor’s presidential campaign.
While it has been floated since last year that Arroyo, then deputy majority leader of the House, would eventually replace Alvarez, the talk heightened after the Speaker was forced to admit that he had a girlfriend.
While one ally said that Alvarez’s marriage has crumbled, Emelina Alvarez still heads the Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. (CSFI), a post that is traditionally held by the Speaker’s wife.
Alvarez’s critics said his marital issue could lead to his disbarment, but he replied that if that would be the case, then the country would be left without lawyers because the majority of them had illicit affairs.
Mr. Duterte has defended Alvarez.